Nuclear propulsion study for LNG carriers

By Keith Henderson at November 03, 2010 13:05
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As the maritime industry shows renewed interest in nuclear powered commercial ships. Babcock International Group’s Marine Division has recently carried out a study to investigate the implications, both commercial and environmental of using nuclear propulsion for LNG carriers.

Nuclear propulsion continues to enjoy popularity for warships, especially submarines, however of the four merchant ships pioneering nuclear propulsion in the period 1962-1995, three were not commercially successful and were withdrawn after a relatively short period. The Russian merchant ship (with ice breaking capabilities), NS Sevmorput, built 1988, remains: perhaps her name gives a clue to her survival, Sevmorput, is an abbreviation of Severny Morskoy Put, Russian for Northern Sea Route. Of the non-warship applications of nuclear propulsion, only the Soviet/Russian operated nuclear icebreakers have shown outstanding service over many years and could be considered successful.

Within the last few years however, several factors have changed, generating renewed interest in nuclear propulsion for merchant ships, for example recent papers concluding that the adoption of nuclear propulsion for high speed container ships is technically feasible and could be commercially more profitable than conventional container ships.

Babcock’s combination of technical knowledge and experience in LNG projects together with service and support for the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine fleets places them in a good position to have carried out this study. Babcock International concludes from the study that there are several benefits of using nuclear power for LNG carriers: high power density freeing extra space for cargo, zero exhaust emissions and negligible noise emission.

Sole remaining non-warship nuclear powered ship (with ice breaking capabilities) the Soviet/Russian NS Sevmorput, built 1988 in Ukraine.

Comments (1) -

While Iwon't dispute that Severoport is probably the only current nuclear powered cargo ship, it is'nt the only  non warship as russias Nuclear icebreakers are also considered civilian ships

Kevin |     11/4/2010 10:26:18 AM #

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